Strings Attached is a design intervention examining the flow in front of and on the main stair in the CREATE building, Aalborg. The experiment both investigate the limits of thermal tracking and a spatial understanding. The space for the experiment is the atrium in the building, as it is the heart of the building; distributing the flow out into the different parts of the building. There is a visual contact to the five different levels from the atrium. The experiment wants to examine the possibility of changing the flow in a space without creating a physical footprint. It is not the intension to make physical obstacles forcing the participants to change their route.
The intervention does not change the direction of flow of people through the atrium, but it changes the pace. People walk slowly through as they look up at the strings. They stop and take pictures. The intervention changes the spatial experience of the atrium and it shows the large unutilized space in the heart of the building. The intervention creates a vertically connection in the building. The threads generate a direct line between the different levels and the atrium that break down the distance in the building. A physical contact with a string on the fifth level is as an echo transferred to the ground floor as vibes on the thread. The eyes of the people in the atrium follow the strings upward and the eyes of the people on the balconies follow the strings downward.
The strings become a playful element with a materiality inviting people to join. Firstly, people play with the strings by touching them, but during time, the intervention has evolved as people start to use the strings to send object down in the atrium. The creativity is great; a small Spiderman, foam, origami cranes etc. have been sent down the strings. When urban designers work in the field of artistic intervention one of the main themes is identity; creating narratives and understanding the identity of a place. The strings are starting to create an identity in the atrium through the different interactions between subject and object.
Furthermore, the strings are generating a large topic of conversation – a structure visible from every angle in the central building forcing the observer to take a stand on the wanted spatial experience in the atrium.